Aug 12, 2020
Donald Trump ‘Kids First’ Roundtable Transcript August 12: Reopening Schools
Donald Trump participated in the ‘Kids First: Getting America’s Children Safely Back to School’ event with Mike Pence, Betsy DeVos, and Kellyanne Conway on August 12. They spoke to parents and educators about reopening schools . Read the transcript here.
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President Trump: (00:26)
… extraordinary experts with us. I’d like to maybe start off by asking our vice president to say a few words, and then if you would, Betsy and Kellyanne, and we’ll go around and talk to some of the parents and teachers. And thank you all for being here very much. Appreciate it. Please.
Vice President: (00:44)
Well, thank you Mr. President. And I want to thank all of the educators and leaders who are here and a part of a conversation. President Trump made it clear from the time that we made our way through the difficult days of 45 days to slow the spread. The president said, we want to work with states to open up America again, but to open up America, we’ve got to open up America’s schools. And at the president’s direction, we’ve literally provided billions of dollars already to states to begin to open schools. And Secretary DeVos and I, as you know Mr. President, have traveled around the country to places like North Carolina and Indiana and Louisiana. And we are working, literally, day in and day out with governors and state education leaders to find a way that we can safely reopen our schools. Our commitment is to make sure that that our states and our schools have the best guidance. And we’ll talk a little bit about that today.
Vice President: (01:48)
The CDC actually issued some new guideposts, Mr. President, not long ago, but the first document they issued was the CDC’s position that it is best for our kids to be back in school. That the CDC’s recognized that it’s a public health priority to have our kids back to school and in-person learning. But Mr. President, as you’ve also made clear, we’re going to make sure our schools and our states have the resources to be able to safely reopen. And we’re calling on Congress to work with us to appropriate another $105 billion. We believe that we can safely reopen our schools. We know that it’s best for our kids. We don’t want them to fall behind academically, but also we don’t want our kids to miss out on the counseling that they receive, special needs services, as well as all the nutrition programs that are available just at our schools.
Vice President: (02:42)
And finally Mr. President, and I know that you’ve recognized from early on that getting our kids back to school is first a priority for them, but also it’s important for working families. Only about 20% of single parents are able to tele-work. And so to open up America again, we’ve got to open up America’s schools. To put America back to work, we’ve got our kids who are back in the classroom. And so Mr. President, I want to thank you for your leadership. It’s great to be here with Secretary of Education, with Kellyanne and all these remarkable teachers in particular. As you know, I’ve been married to a school teacher for 35 years. She’s preparing to go back to the classroom this fall. And I want to thank all the educators who are here for all the hard work you’ve done through these difficult days and all the work that you’re doing to get our kids back to school. Thank you, Mr. President.
Betsy DeVos: (03:34)
Mr. President, thank you so much for your continued bold leadership through this crisis. And particularly with respect to getting kids back to school, it’s been a privilege to travel with the vice president to meet with educators, education leaders, and especially with parents and students to hear about what their needs are as a fall quickly approaches. And so I’m just thankful to be here with this group today, to listen and learn from you about what your needs are as we anticipate getting back to school. And Commissioner Corcoran, thank you for your bold leadership in Florida, really setting high expectations for all of the students and educators there. We know that for students and their families, they can’t be held captive to other people’s fears or agendas. We have got to ensure that families and parents have options that are going to work for their child and for their children’s education. And so I look forward to this conversation to as to how we can ensure that we do not have a one size fits all approach, but that we do ensure every child has a chance to go on learning full time this fall.
Kellyanne Conway: (04:50)
Thank you very much. Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, Secretary DeVos, we’re here mainly to hear from each of you today. Before I do that, I just wanted to point out that there is a fairly recent Kaiser Family Foundation health tracker poll that shows over 65% of America’s parents are very concerned that their children will fall behind academically and socially if they don’t get back to school. Having said that, we recognize that many school districts have already made a decision to either go hybrid or full time, virtual learning for the first month or two or maybe longer. So our goal today, the president’s goal has always been, how do we reopen safely?
Kellyanne Conway: (05:27)
How do we reopen soon? But how do we reopen safely? We also recognize that a number of teachers, particularly the 10% or so that are over the age of 60 in most of our schools are concerned. So we have given resources and guidance that allows each of those districts to make those decisions, to maybe modify the work schedules of the teachers and other administrative staff that may be affected. But overall, we know that the risk is low for kids in contracting and being hospitalized and of course the worst possible outcome, dying from COVID-19. That risk is very high if they’re locked down indefinitely. Nearly 100% of our 75 million students, K through college, left their places of learning, left those structures between the first and third weeks of March of this year. And we see that all situations were not created equally. The lack of digital assets was very obvious for many of our students, the lack of nutrition, the lack of social and emotional, mental wellbeing and development.
Kellyanne Conway: (06:25)
But also we heard from many school administrators and teachers, they’re concerned because roughly one out of five child abuse cases are detected in schools. So we have to also think about all that we don’t know and all that is being lost for these children by keeping them locked down indefinitely. So in the interest of opening soon and safely for this entire country, Mr. President, we’d like to start with Elisa from Waukesha, Wisconsin. She’s a single mother and a small business owner. And her son, Luis is entering a public district school, the ninth grade, I believe. Freshman year for Luis.
Kellyanne Conway: (07:03)
If you can tell us a couple of things, Elisa. First of all, what were the relatives advantage or disadvantage of him being a bilingual student when you had to go virtual learning? And then we understand that your school district has not yet announced a reopening plan and we’re in pretty much mid August. So can you address both of those for us.
Correct? Yes. We, as the parents, we had to take a survey regarding either going back to school or going virtual. So at the moment like you had mentioned, we do not have an answer yet. Hopefully we do. And I’m hoping that we do go back because all the details that you just mentioned are very critical and important. And I am 100% of what you guys are saying at the moment. It was kind of difficult for him because it’s really hard being bilingual and having to learn two different languages. But with the help of teachers and the community, he stood up and did a great job. That was the advantage that when he needed help, teachers were there to help him and fulfilled whatever gap was not being covered. And so he did pretty well after that.
President Trump: (08:24)
Would you like going back immediately, right?
Oh yes. 100%. 100%.
President Trump: (08:30)
A lot of people agree. A lot of people agree.
President Trump: (08:32)
President Trump: (08:33)
[inaudible 00:08:33] a good job.
Kellyanne Conway: (08:37)
Dr. Paul Peterson is the director of the program on education, policy and governance at Harvard University and Hoover Institution, senior fellow. Dr. Peterson. We’ve heard an awful lot, including from the president, the vice president, CDC director, and others about their relative problems that children could face if they are in indefinite lockdown. Would you please expand on that as a doctor?
Dr. Paul Peterson: (08:55)
Well, we know that for every year that you spend in school, in the future, you will earn 10% more in lifetime earnings. So if we lock down schools for a year, we assign this generation of students to a 10% earning loss in the rest of their life. I mean, this is profound that the costs are vastly greater than people have appreciated. To say nothing about the importance of young people being together with one another, the most important element in social growth is being with your peers, with your own friends and neighbors and not being isolated in a setting where you don’t have social relationships. To say nothing of the medical costs of being isolated and not… I remember when I was a child, the teacher said, “He can’t see. He needs glasses.” Well, I’ve got some new eyes now. So I can see. But, yeah. You are-
Dr. Paul Peterson: (10:03)
… eyes now, so I can see. But yeah, you are told in school what the problems are and then you can get those problems solved. All those things are out the door, if you’re not in school.
President Trump: (10:10)
So sitting in isolation with a computer, looking at a laptop, is not the same as being out there in the real world?
Dr. Paul Peterson: (10:20)
At one time, Mr. President, I thought digital learning was the future, but we have learned through this COVID crisis that we haven’t got digital learning to the point where you can really engage young people. They’ve got to be in that classroom. They have to be with their peers.
President Trump: (10:35)
So, if you’re a presidential candidate and you’re sitting in a basement and you’re looking at a computer, that’s not a good thing? It sounds like it would be the same.
Dr. Paul Peterson: (10:45)
Well, I can’t comment on that.
President Trump: (10:45)
I won’t put you on the spot. I’m not going to put you on… Thank you very much. A lot of truth to that.
Kellyanne Conway: (10:53)
Hypothetically speaking, yes. I don’t know a single parent who thinks their kid needs more screen time to your point, Dr. Peterson. Lynn Gronseth from Arkansas. You’ve been a special education teacher. I think you’re entering your 19th year, but you also are considered higher risk for contracting the coronavirus since you have asthma. Is that correct?
Lynn Gronseth: (11:12)
Kellyanne Conway: (11:12)
Tell us how you feel about going back to school with the students?
Lynn Gronseth: (11:14)
My sons a physician, and I will say radiologist at Stanford. And so every time there were rumors and myths, I just called him and said, “What are you hearing there?” And he never once, not once said, “Please don’t go back.” He knows how much I love my special education students, how much they need those special resources like your speech my other colleagues provide. The instruction was extremely difficult for my students, a lot wouldn’t come to the Zoom meetings, it’s just so different.
Lynn Gronseth: (11:44)
But what I was going to say is I typed the protocols from Springdale Public Schools, and I’m very comfortable with them. They’ve gone beyond the call of duty. I gave that to my allergist, emailed it to my son, and both of them gave me, with precautions, the ability to go back. And I want to be there for my students and help them navigate through this, and make them comfortable to come back safely.
President Trump: (12:05)
That’s great. Thank you very much.
Lynn Gronseth: (12:06)
President Trump: (12:06)
Thank you very much.
Kellyanne Conway: (12:06)
Sir, thank you. Dr. Melanie McGraw Piasecki from Charlotte, North Carolina, a neonatologist, but also a mom of three who I think has been home with the kids, helping them navigate the online world of learning. Could you tell us both a mom of three who’s been home with them, but also through your medical experience, how can we learn to safely and quickly return to school?
Dr. Melanie McGraw Piasecki: (12:32)
Sure. My children, I would say, did not have a great experience in the spring. Particularly my youngest who was in first grade at the time. I think the online learning for the young ones, it just doesn’t work. And my school, it’s a private independent school, recognized that. And when they go back next week, they’re sending the little ones back every day, which I think is great. The middle and upper school ones, will be back in a hybrid way every other day.
Dr. Melanie McGraw Piasecki: (12:56)
And they’ve incorporated some choice too. So if parents are not comfortable, they’re able to do a full online experience, but we’re definitely going back as much as they’ll let us. In terms of being a pediatrician, I just think the science is so clear that the risk of death or hospitalization for children with this virus is so, so low. But we know the risk of missing school are catastrophic. We probably don’t even know how high they are yet. And they cover so many different areas. So I feel like Mr. President, thank you for your leadership on trying to get students back in school safely. So appreciated.
President Trump: (13:32)
And the concept of every other day seems a little ridiculous, right? If you’re going to do it, you do it. If you’re not going to do it… The concept of going back, even from a management standpoint from the school, every other day seems very strange.
Dr. Melanie McGraw Piasecki: (13:44)
I think the idea is they’re going to take half the student body on A days and half the student body on B days. And so they can socially distance in the facility doing it that way. And then if you’re at home, you’ll be watching it on technology.
President Trump: (13:58)
Okay. But you’d rather see them go back, period. Right?
Dr. Melanie McGraw Piasecki: (14:00)
President Trump: (14:00)
You’d rather not see that at all.
Dr. Melanie McGraw Piasecki: (14:00)
President Trump: (14:01)
Okay. Great job. Thank you very much.
Dr. Melanie McGraw Piasecki: (14:05)
Kellyanne Conway: (14:07)
Nilsa Alvarez. Hi. It sounds like your children are back in school, following a decision that you and other parents in Seymour Tennessee had to make with respect to whether to keep them at home and learn virtually, or go back to school. You chose to go back to school. Why? And how is it going so far?
Nilsa Alvarez: (14:23)
Well, the why is very easy. I’m a Hispanic, small business owner, so I need my kids in school to run the business. And I know a lot of families, it’s a struggle if you’re working your business and being teacher at the same time, it’s just not easy. But we’ve made that decision, and I really want to thank the leadership of Governor Bill Lee, who emphasized to the school districts to offer the options of in-person learning and virtual, so that parents would have the freedom to choose which education route would be best for their child. The parents in my area, and at our school, decided to send our kids back. Our kids are excited. There is social distancing. There’s a lot of protocols in place. Their temperatures are taken every morning. Everything is going very smooth, but what is really good is that my son and daughter, they understand the seriousness of the virus for those at risk.
Nilsa Alvarez: (15:23)
So they’re keeping an eye out for those who are at risk, so we can look after them. We have a group chat with the parents and we’re communicating all the time, if there’s any symptom so that we know to if something’s happening or not, whether we send our kids back to school that day or not. And because the virtual class is happening at the same time, our kids will never fall behind.
President Trump: (15:49)
That’s great. Thank you very much. Well said.
Kellyanne Conway: (15:52)
Claudia Valladares, you are a kindergarten teacher at a public school, and we understand you had a very successful in-person summer school experience, which may be very surprising to some people here that that actually was happening this summer. Can you tell us that from Lubbock, Texas? And also, how does that portend for a successful in-person fall?
Claudia Valladares: (16:13)
Okay. Yes. I’m from Lubbock, Texas, and I teach at Ramirez Elementary. And we did have a really successful summer school. There were no outbreaks. It was in person. There were precautions with social distancing six feet apart, and children had to wear mask, 10 and older. There was temperatures taken for the staff and the students. And this year, our parents had the choice, whether to do virtual or in person. And so far, we have 70% wanting to be in class. And so we’re ready to go. And we start Monday.
President Trump: (16:51)
Very exciting. Thank you.
Claudia Valladares: (16:52)
Thank you. Thank you for all of your leadership with this.
President Trump: (17:00)
Thank you very much. Say hello to [inaudible 00:16:57]. I know the area well. It’s great. Thank you.
Claudia Valladares: (17:00)
Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.
Kellyanne Conway: (17:03)
Mr. President, you heard from a couple of our last speakers, is something that you actually have made happen in signing the Cares Act. It was about $13 billion worth of funding. And I was briefed by and HHS official this morning who said only 4% has been tapped into. They could use that to help them with the temperature checks, at the testing, however they wish to use it. So we would really implore those States and those local school districts to take advantage of the money that you and the Vice President, the Secretary and others have already secured in a bipartisan fashion.
President Trump: (17:31)
And what I’d like to do is I’d like to see the money follow the student. If a school is going to be closed, and we’re giving all of this money on the federal basis to a school, and if a student is going to go to a different school, really at the choice more of the parent in all fairness, than the student, you know where you want to go and what school you want to bring the student to. I think the money should follow the student.
President Trump: (17:56)
And that’s something that we want to do. We’re having a hard time with the Democrats. They want the money to follow the Union, to be honest. It’s very simple; give it to the Union. But the fact is give it to dues. Because the Union people are fantastic people in there. But the people that run the Union it’s disgraceful and the dues that they charge the teachers, and that’s what it’s all about.
President Trump: (18:16)
So I would like, anyway, I would like the money to follow the student. And this way you can make your own choice. If the school is closed, why are we paying? If a school is closed, why are we paying the school? I’d rather give it to the student, the parents, and you do your own thing. And to me it makes a lot of sense.
Kellyanne Conway: (18:36)
Betsy DeVos: (18:38)
Well, and I would just add to that Senator Tim Scott has a bill introduced in Congress that would do just that. Would empower parents to make the choice for their children to find the right setting and the right fit for them depending on their circumstances. And with the President’s bold leadership here, I think we can get it done. Congress can do the right thing on behalf of parents and their kids.
President Trump: (19:01)
So Mike, we’ll let him know we’re in favor of that. Tim Scott is fantastic and the bill is really good. So why don’t we do that? Okay?
Vice President Mike Pence: (19:09)
We will, Mr. President, I assure you.
Kellyanne Conway: (19:11)
Excellent. You’ve always been the school choice President of school choice candidate. I know as governor of Indiana, Vice President Pence expanded charter schools and other educational freedom opportunities. And I will say that we as a nation can philosophically and politically differ on many issues, but I’ve never, ever heard a very compelling and persuasive memorable reason why people oppose the kind of school choice that the two of you are fighting for.
Kellyanne Conway: (19:33)
And school choice means parent choice. So, our last set of questions really go to the parents and the importance of parents ability to choose the right education for their children. Particularly within this dual medical and financial pandemic.
Kellyanne Conway: (19:48)
Mr. President, we have with us today and I want to read it, so I get it all right. Janie Neeley of Columbia, South Carolina, she’s a former public school teacher herself. She’s a reading specialist, her zone school district plans to provide full time virtual instruction. She believes her high schooler will be fine, but her-
Kellyanne Conway: (20:03)
… full time, virtual instruction. She believes her high schooler will be fine, but her kindergarten has down syndrome and must receive in-person instruction. Janie’s husband, Chris, is here. He serves as the chairman of the president’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Thank you very much for being here, Chris. And God bless both of you and your children. Would you like to tell us a little bit, Janie, about how you’re approaching the school year?
Absolutely. When schools closed in the spring abruptly, it was especially difficult for families with children that have special needs, because for us, it was like falling off an early intervention cliff. Schools not only provide the academics for students with special needs, but it also provides the much needed therapies and services to address developmental delays. And the structure and routine of school day is so critical for this population of students. It simply cannot be replicated in a virtual platform, and especially for a kindergartner with down syndrome.
Unfortunately, our school district has adopted a virtual only reopening plan. And it’s been extremely disappointing because, as a parent, I wish… well, I need, and I wish that I’d been given a choice. Because I know for a fact that this style of learning will cause my son to regress and to fall behind. And we were working so hard for him to be fully included with his peers. So, my hope is that we can all work together to get in-person learning, especially open for the students that are most vulnerable, and to have that choice for parents. Because I know my son best, and I know what he needs.
President Trump: (21:38)
That’s really well said. So, it’s been a burden, a tremendous burden. And what you’ve been through has been a great burden, obviously. How do they change that? How do they change it? What would you recommend?
I think families with children with special needs, we’re already carrying a pretty tremendous burden. We are constantly incorporating different therapies and things of that nature. What’s nice about it being incorporated in the school is that it happens during the school day.
Unfortunately, in my situation, we’ve now been forced to change and to find another school option for our son. We’re fortunate because a lot of families don’t have that option because smaller schools, private schools, parochial schools may not have the staff and the structure to accept children with special needs. So, there’s not always that option. We’re fortunate in that situation. But now, my family has taken on the burden of not budgeting and planning for tuition. So, having the dollars follow the student is very critical for a family like ours. And now, I’m also having to plan all of his therapies on the outside. So, we’re talking about a kindergartner that’s going to school from eight in the morning to two, 2:30 in the afternoon, and then he has to have occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, all after school. That’s a long day.
President Trump: (22:53)
That’s a lot of work.
It is. Thank you.
President Trump: (22:55)
Fantastic job. Thank you very much.
President Trump: (22:56)
How did she do, Chris? Good?
She did excellent, sir.
President Trump: (22:56)
Not too bad.
Kellyanne Conway: (22:56)
Is there anything you wanted to say?
Thank you. I think the conversation in America right now, the children with special needs have really been left out. And so, Mr. President, and I want to thank this administration. Mr. Vice President, when you and the secretary came to Columbia a few weeks ago, you addressed that issue, that people with disabilities are being left out. And so, what we have here are people that are on the front lines in education that are saying we can open the schools for everyone. I visited two schools this week in South Carolina that have charter schools. Students are in class. Teachers are there. They’re learning. They’re playing with each other. I mean, it’s been a great experience. So, we can do this in America. We can get America back to school and make our education system great.
President Trump: (23:53)
That’s great. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Kellyanne Conway: (23:55)
Florida’s Commissioner of Education, Mr. Corcoran, you spearheaded an emergency declaration with Governor DeSantis, basically to meet the demands of parents for in-person instruction. I’m very struck when I read these parent surveys in many districts. Parents overwhelmingly are saying, yes, when they are asked, do you feel it is safe for your son or daughter to return to school? And often, they’re being big footed by a county health commissioner or a school board. How are you meeting that demand? And how do you know that parents are so in demand in Florida for in person instruction? What are you hearing?
Mr. Corcoran: (24:28)
Well, we did exactly as you said. We did an emergency order that basically gave increased flexibility and increased choice to parents, teachers, and the districts and a certainty in the funding. And what we were saying and what got reported the same day you said open schools, so they said, we colluded. I wish I colluded with you.
President Trump: (24:46)
That sounds like a good idea.
Kellyanne Conway: (24:47)
They like that word.
Mr. Corcoran: (24:50)
But we opened up. We said, you have to open up as an option five days a week for school children. And now, in Florida, we’re in August. Our first schools are opening up this week. And, throughout August, we’ll have all 67 of our districts will open up. We’ve not approved a single plan, to your point and your point, even in our phase one counties in Southeast Florida, we’ve told them, you better open up for children with unique abilities on day one. You cannot do virtual therapies. You can’t do virtual.
Mr. Corcoran: (25:20)
And we just had a forum the other day with another parent who had a Down’s child. And he just thrives when he’s around other kids. And, when he’s at home, he’s literally being diagnosed with depression because he’s not around kids. They have to have that right away. And so, we’ll open up. And the great news is we’ll have probably… already, we have 13 districts that opened up this week. Of those 13 districts, this is the amazing thing, to your point, we are being sued by the union bosses. And they are disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful. And so, we have multiple suits going. But the reality is, of the districts that opened up this week, six of them have almost 100% teacher participation. You know what teachers want? Teachers want to be back in the classroom with their kids. Even if they have an underlying condition, they want to be back. And that’s what we’re seeing in Florida.
Mr. Corcoran: (26:06)
And, when we get to August 31st, all the districts open up. We’re going to have probably 70 to 80% of students in face to face options. And we’ll have more than that percentage in teachers in the classroom with their students. And there’s just no substitute for it. You hear it. We have the largest virtual school in the country. It is a second tier education. The best education is when you’ve got a great teacher, a great mentor, someone who’s got great wisdom, all the children and their peers together getting a great education. And an education we say in is everything. Education is freedom. Education is the uplifting of the human soul to the glorious light of truth. And to deny a child that kind of education, you’re robbing them of a lifetime, not just of earnings, a lifetime of who they are as human beings. And I stole that from Frederick Douglas, but that is really what a education goes to.
Mr. Corcoran: (26:59)
And I loved what the Royal Academy said. When they said, you’re scarring a generation of children for their futures. That’s what we’re doing when you don’t have that option. But hey, if you’re a parent… I have six children, two in elementary school, one in middle, two in high school, one in college, all public school. All of them are going back to school. But I completely respect and wanted to honor the decision of a parent who says, well, what about, I don’t feel safe? I think the evidence is overwhelming. We’ve all seen it. But you have that right. If you want to do distance learning, we’re going to do the best possible way. But, to the other 70, 80% of us, we have the right too to go back and have our kids get that world class education.
President Trump: (27:40)
It is interesting because one thing we’ve learned during this horror show of the China plague is that virtual is not as good as being there. Virtual is just not the same thing. And, for a long time, we’ve been here and how great it would be, how great it would be. Well, we’ve had the ultimate sample, right, namely the whole country practically. And it’s not as good. We’ve also learned that telehealth is very good. Telehealth is up 3,500%. It’s great. Can you imagine that 3,500, where people can stay in their homes, their apartments, wherever they are, and they can not have to go to hospitals, and doctors, and everything else. That’s been an incredible success. Who would have thought? That’s become tremendous and really has been good.
President Trump: (28:22)
But the virtual learning is not like being in a classroom. And we’ve learned that, I think, very strongly in almost all cases. People thought for a long time that would be the answer. But that’s not the answer. The answer is an old fashioned one. Isn’t it? Thank you. Great job you’re doing in Florida. Thank you very much.
Mr. Corcoran: (28:40)
Thank you, Mr. President.
Kellyanne Conway: (28:40)
Mr. President, our final guest is a mom in Fairfax County, Lindsay Ammann. She’s one of the parents who said yes to the question, do you feel safe returning your children to school? And her older daughter will have, in Fairfax County, just on four half days of virtual instruction at her grade level and one day off. So, Lindsay has decided to exercise her parent choice and do pod homeschooling. Can you tell us about that please?
Lindsay Ammann: (29:06)
Yes. Yes. Absolutely. That’s all correct, everything that everyone has already mentioned. We also had a very poor experience with virtual learning. The kindergarten age, I think, is very difficult, as everyone has already spoken about. But she also, it’s important to note, was an absolute lover of learning in general. She is very bright, very eager to learn. And we really watched that all fade. We watched her education deteriorate. And we also really saw her mental health suffer over the course of the spring. So, we were very eager to get her back into in person learning. And we really felt very confident and comfortable with the precautions that were put in place by our district. Originally, we were offered two days in person, three days virtual. And then, that’s actually since changed.
Speaker 2: (30:03)
…three days virtual and then that’s actually since changed over the last few weeks and we are now a hundred percent virtual. Fortunate for us, we had already kind of gone a different route and set up a homeschool situation for her with a small group of parents in our community and we’re very grateful for that. That was certainly not an easy choice to make. It was an unexpected cost and something we hadn’t planned for, but we felt like it was really, really important for her to be in a classroom setting.
President Trump: (30:36)
Thank you very much.
Speaker 2: (30:37)
President Trump: (30:37)
Very uniform. Very interesting. I think most people do feel this way. Wouldn’t you say? I think most people feel this way. We have a man with us who’s a great expert from Stanford. He’s working with us, he’s consulting with us and he’s going to be at our press conference in a little while, at 5:30, but maybe a Scott Atlas, Dr. Scott Atlas could say just a couple of words. We’re going to be covering it in more detail in a little while. You folks are, if you’re interested in watching, we’d love to have you. Scott, please.
Speaker 2: (31:11)
Okay. Thank you, Mr. President. It’s a great honor to be asked to help out in any way I can and the event I thought was terrific. I want to thank everyone for participating and sort of to reiterate the bottom line on this as the President and Vice President and Secretary Devos have said, which is we know that the risk of the disease is extremely low for children, even less than that of seasonal flu. We know that the harms of locking out the children from school are enormous and we also know, as we all would agree, that educating America’s children is right at the top of the list for our nation’s priority. I thank the president and everyone here for acknowledging these truths and to get kids back to school safely. Thank you.
President Trump: (31:57)
Thank you, Scott. It’s very good. We’ll have more from Scott in a little while. We’re going to meet together and we’ve been working with him very closely, all of the taskforce, all of the White House, and we’ve made a lot of progress. We’ve made tremendous progress. You see countries, other countries are now blowing up in terms of the disease. You call it, what you want. So many different names for the disease, whether it’s China virus and some I won’t get into because I just get myself in trouble every time I do, but I’m angry about it and so is everybody else in this country, angry about it. We will have a press conference in a little while. You’ll be seeing the doctor. You’ll be seeing a few of the people and I’ll be making a statement and I think that’ll start at about 5:30.
President Trump: (32:45)
I want to thank everybody very much for coming in and being with you. We’re on your side, 100%. We’re on your side. We’d like to also see football get going. We want to see college football and I don’t know what they’re doing with high school football, but I guess it’s the same kind of a thought process. We want to see that happen and I think some of it will happen, to a large extent it’s going to happen. They want to do it. I’ll tell you who what’s that do it are the players and the coaches. They want to do it. I spoke with Trevor Lawrence, the great quarterback, and he’s a very smart. He understood it very well. He said, “Hey, I’m a lot safer in the field that I am being out there.” And he got it. He got it very quickly. Coach O, I spoke with him. He’s some coach that one. He’s a great coach. He feels his players just want to be out there.
President Trump: (33:36)
We’ve spoken to a lot of different people and they want to get out. And our country’s opening up. We’re opening up very strongly. If you look at retail sales numbers, car sale numbers, used car numbers and employment numbers. We’re hiring over the last three months, the most people ever hired in the history of our country. You had a lower base, but nevertheless, we hired it. Tremendous amount, by far the biggest number of people ever hired doing a three month period for the quarter. I just want to thank everybody. We’ll see you folks in a little while and thank you very much. Appreciate it.